Victoria Cougars host the Nanaimo Buccaneers this afternoon

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Game time at the Archie Browning Sports Centre, located at 1151 Esquimalt Road, is 3:30 p.m.

(ISN) – This afternoon’s contest marks the final regular season meeting between these two non-divisional rivals.

Victoria (33-5-1-0) locked up the South Island Division following its 6-3 win over the Peninsula Panthers last Thursday. Former Peninsula forward Nathan Looysen scored twice and set up three others in coming back to haunt his old team.

Grant Payne stopped 19 shots for his 16th win of the season. The 19-year-old goaltender from Colorado Springs, Colorado made his eighth consecutive start in between the pipes as Anthony Ciurro is still dealing with a nagging injury that has had him sidelined since mid-December.

The Buccaneers (20-14-2-4) are coming off a 9-3 loss to the high-powered Campbell River Storm. Rowan Siider, Clayton Peace, and Hobin Zinck scored for Nanaimo who was outshot 37-21.

Backup goaltender Jakob Severson got the start in net for the Buccaneers in place of Greg Maggio.

The Cougars have won all three previous meetings versus Nanaimo by a combined score of 17-9.

A lot is at stake for both teams.

Victoria trails the league-leading Storm by three points in the race for the Andy Hebenton Trophy. However, the Cougars hold two games in hand on Campbell River.

Second place in the North Island Division is on the line. The Buccaneers sit two points back of the Comox Valley Glacier Kings and will use their game in hand this afternoon.

Because of a power outage at the Panorama Recreation Centre on Friday, Victoria has had an extra day off. No makeup date has been announced.

Nanaimo has not played since Friday.

Elsewhere in the VIJHL, Peninsula travels to Kerry Park to take on the Islanders at the Kerry Park Recreation Centre.

STANDINGS: Victoria – 1st place, 67 points, South Island Division. Nanaimo – 3rd place, 46 points, North Island Division

OFFENSE: Victoria – 2nd place, 4.92 goals for per game. Nanaimo – 4th place, 3.98 goals for per game

DEFENSE: Victoria – 1st place, 2.05 goals against per game. Nanaimo – 5th place, 4.05 goals against per game

TEAM LEADERS: Victoria – Michael Fretz, Wade Johnson, 30 goals; Sam McMullen, 49 assists; Sam McMullen, 76 points; John Kretzschmar, 71 penalty minutes. Nanaimo – Jordan Levesque, 24 goals; Jordan Levesque, 44 assists; Jordan Levesque, 68 points; Jordan Levesque, 73 penalty minutes

GOALTENDERS: Victoria – Anthony Ciurro (1.51 goals against average, .934 save percentage); Grant Payne (2.42 goals against average, .894 save percentage). Nanaimo – Greg Maggio (3.92 goals against average, .887 save percentage); Jakob Severson (6.43 goals against average, .806 save percentage)

POWER PLAY: Victoria – 1st place, 49-for-204, 24.02 percent. Nanaimo – 5th place, 35-for-188, 18.62 percent

PENALTY KILL: Victoria – 1st place, 161-for-176, 91.48 percent. Nanaimo – 8th place, 169-for-214, 78.97 percent

SEASON SERIES: Victoria leads, 3-0-0-0

October 9, 2014. Victoria Cougars 4 @ Nanaimo Buccaneers 2
November 27, 2014. Nanaimo Buccaneers 3 @ Victoria Cougars 6
December 21, 2014. Victoria Cougars 7 @ Nanaimo Buccaneers 4

HOME/AWAY RECORDS: Victoria – Home, 16-2-1-0. Nanaimo – Away, 7-8-1-3

STREAKS: Victoria, 1-0-0-0. Nanaimo, 0-1-0-0

LAST TEN: Victoria, 8-2-0-0. Nanaimo, 2-4-2-2

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